My dad and I are in Arkansas for an extended weekend fishing the White River. Today we went out with guide Gabe Levin from Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher.

Our 7:30 a.m. start was a cold one, in the upper 30 degrees, and stayed on the cooler side all day long with some strong winds. We did have blue bird skies and sun, which isn’t ideal for fishing, but it was a beautiful day to be out on the water!

Our focus for the first two days is to try to catch a big brown, or any brown, on the fly. By 9 a.m. both my dad and I had put a “cookie cutter” bow to the net. This is what Gabe referred to White River bows 12-14 inches in length. For the next hour and a half, we didn’t stick a thing. My dad then stuck two more bows around 11 am, almost back-to-back. I followed suit thirty minutes or so after, and also put two more cookie cutters to the net. As we were floating by Gaston’s just before lunch, my dad connected with a fat 16” bow which put up a decent fight for him.

Dad with his 16 inch bow
Dad with his 16" bow.

We pulled over to one of Gaston’s picnic tables on the bank and Gabe cooked us up some beef stew and grilled cheese. We chatted for a while and watched the other boats on the river trying their luck at getting that big brown.

After lunch, we were back at it hard. I landed a small bow shortly after we got back out on the water, and that would be the last fish to the net for the day.

We spent a good six hours tossing streamers in search for a brown trout. My hands cramped up almost every stretch we fished since I haven’t held a fly rod in a year, but it was so worth it! The White River is a beautiful fishery, I am glad to have the opportunity to be here and experience this.

The best part is, we still have two more days of solid fishing ahead! We are heading back out with Gabe tomorrow morning to do another day of fly fishing, and then we are heading out with Donald Cranor from Cranor’s White River Lodge, where we are staying, to throw some spinning rods.

Stay tuned for the action to come!